Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘sounding’

Super Fun

Posted by terrepruitt on August 19, 2016

Earlier this month I taught a yoga class.  I was subbing for someone at a community center that I don’t teach at very often.  In the past when I taught there I was usually subbing a Zumba class with Nia.  I don’t care what class you are going to take, when you show up and it is not that class, it kinda is a bummer.  Some people get very upset.  Some people leave and even though they made all the effort to get to the class, they decide not to stay.  Some people shrug their shoulders and say, “Well, I am here.  I might as well give it a go.”  I don’t blame anyone for being upset.  As I said, it is kind of a bummer when you show up for one thing and there is another.  Oh, I digress . . before the yoga class a woman asked me if I taught Nia.  When I said yes she asked if I could do some Nia.  I told her that I would be happy to lead her through a song AFTER the yoga class if she would like.  The demo was awesome.  I was amazed.

After the yoga class, I asked a few of the members that regularly come to Nia if they would mind dancing a song with me and the student who asked about Nia.  So a few of the woman who dance with me regularly stayed to help out.  But others stayed too.  It was really cool.  I did one song and they were so enthusiastic, I did another song.  I bet I could have done an entire routine and they would have stayed for it.

It was really cool to have people who were new to Nia . . . who had never even heard of it . . . dance so enthusiastically.  And, the most amazing part to me . . . they sounded.  They shouted and whooped and hollered.  That was really amazing.  It is a challenge for so many of us to make noise while we exercise.  So many of us were taught to be quiet.  You weren’t supposed to grunt or huff-n-puff or even breathe loudly.  So not a lot of people are used to making noise.  These women jumped right in on it!

As I wrote in my post, One Person Making A Lot Of Noise, it only takes one person to help encourage the others.  I think the members that were from the regular Nia classes helped a lot.  It was really fun.

I am always happy and grateful when I get to introduce Nia to someone.  So this really made me super happy and grateful because I was able to introduce it to a handful of woman.  It helps a lot that the members that come to the Nia classes regularly talk about it to other students.

The members are really good and generous in talking about all the classes they like. They share with others all the information about each class and they encourage others to attend.  Somewhat like the sounding . . . they make noise and others join in.

I was sitting here wondering what to write about.  Needing to go make dinner and I thought of that class and it made me smile.  And I thought I would share.  While it might not make you smile . . . it will make me smile again, in the future when I read this post.  You know most of this is for me anyway.

I’ve talked about Sounding in Nia before.  Do you go to an exercise class where you make noise?  Perhaps a yoga class where you chant?  Perhaps another type of dance class where you hoot and holler?

 

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Sound Mixing

Posted by terrepruitt on October 28, 2014

Whew!  I am so relieved.  Yesterday while I was thinking about starting to write my post for today, my computer froze.  Well, it was doing the “not responding” thing.  I had been in the process of shutting all my program so that I could start over, when one of them did that thing.  Usually it doesn’t respond for a few minutes then the program closes but this was taking longer.  I was impatient and I used my master switch to shut my computer down.  Well, it wouldn’t turn back on.  I don’t mean it started to boot up and then when wanky, I mean there was nothing.  Usually when I press on button the fans start working then the computer slowly turns on.  There was nothing.  My first thought was “OH NO!” and “Well, at least I know what to ask for as a Christmas present.”  I sent out a warning to my hubby.  I was warning him that he needed to be available as my “fix-it” guy.  Then I started to think about it.  The way it didn’t turn on.  The way there was NOTHING.  I was hoping it was an easy fix.  I couldn’t remember exactly what it was but there is a part that is the first place you start when the computer goes wanky.  Sometimes, as was the case with me the computer just won’t turn on, other times when the part is going bad it affects other things.  Anyway . . . I was hoping it was an easy fix.  I talked to my hubby and he reminded me of the part – power supply – and I told him that that was it.  The way it was not turning on was definitely power.  He agreed after he came home and looked at it.  So he grab me one during his day, came home and installed it and I am up and running again.  But I didn’t use the day without a computer to think of something to post.

I have a lot of things to post about and whatnot on my computer so when I don’t have something jumping out at me then I scrounge around my computer and find something.  Not having a computer would be the same problem I had on Saturday when I didn’t know what to post about.  I didn’t have access to my computer then either so I was floundering.

So, I am going to tell you what we did in Nia class today.  You know — if you’ve read a few of my post about my Nia classes — I am always wanting the participants in my Nia classes to sound.  I want them to make noise.  You may also know that many of the Nia students are getting much better.  You may also imagine that for people to make noise in a class while they are exercising it helps if they are all making the same noise.  People feel more comfortable.  One thing you probably don’t know is that I have one student who loves when we have “information” posted on the mirrors or in the class.  So I thought I would combine my desire to help people sound with her love of “post-ups”.

I have posted about Healing Sounds that I came across and I have posted about the sounds associated with the Chakras.  Well, I decided to use a combination of them.  I have a routine I put together of Nia songs.  I went through each one and thought of the prevailing sound in the song or a sound that would fit with a move in the song.  I made signs and taped them to the mirror.

In the first song the vocals are “AH” so we used AH as associated with helping to balance the Heart Chakra.  The next song, I don’t think are actual words, but to me it sounds as if the singer is saying, “Geee” so we had EEE (associated with the Crown Chakra).  We did some kicking in the third song so we sounded HAA, which is a healing sounds attributed to calming the heart and alleviating anger.  We used SHEE in our next song, the healing sound to relieve stress, tension, and anxiety.  Our fourth song had us dancing on one leg a lot so I thought the healing sound to help with balance would be good, SSS.  In one song we did something I call the Yo-Yo because I thought Carlos has called it that.  When we make that sound we say, “yo-yo”, so I thought the sound associated with the Solar Plexas Chakra – OH, as in “go” – would be good with that song.  In one song we danced stances and used our hips so I thought the OOO sound that helps with the Pelvic Chakra would be good to make while we danced.  The second to the last song, I picked SHOO, just because I like it and I think the situations associated with that healing sound is something to clear out.  That sound is for alleviating problems associated with depression.  The last song I decided that we could make the sounds associated with body temperature.  The Nia students could pick the one they felt they needed at the moment.  There is HOO for warming the body and FOO for cooling the body.

The idea was for them to have sounds in each song that we all would be making.  Although it was a set sound or even time.  We all made the sound as we wanted.  Sometimes someone would make it and we thought that sounded good so we would join in.  Sometimes I would lead, like for our kicks we said, “HAA!” and with our “yo-yo” move we said “OH, OH!”  But they were free to do what the were moved to do.  Also . . . we did not stick to the specifics of the sounds.  We were just saying them.  Sometimes we said it with our exhale in one long sound, sometimes we made it a chant . . . it was all up to the individual.  And, as I said, sometimes we would follow someone’s lead and do what they were doing.

It was great.  It was nice to have so much noise going on.  It was nice to have people making it their own.  It is always great when the Nia students sound.

Don’t you wanna join a Nia Class?  Don’t you wanna make some noise?

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Sometimes I Just Say Yes

Posted by terrepruitt on October 9, 2014

This week I met with a friend and she asked me, “So how do you come up with things to post on your blog?”  It was very funny that she asked me that on that day because that day I was struggling to come up with something.  It is funny how some days it is as if something to write about is RIGHT there and other days I can think about it from the moment I get up until the last minute and still be struggling.  I am very particular about my posting schedule.  There are blogs that I like to read and I will go to them and there is nothing.  I will continue to go and there is nothing and after a week or two I forget to keep checking.  I like to post on a schedule so if you come to my blog you know something will be here.  But that is not always easy.  Especially since my idea was to post something about health and fitness.  There are so many blogs and websites about that.  The magazines all have both and you know how many magazines there are so the market is inundated with the same stuff.  And it is like the cooking shows.  If one is cooking with eggplant that week, they all are.  They are all talking about the latest fad, the latest exercise, the latest study.  Sugar is bad, eggs are bad — eggs are good, sugar is the devil — eggs might be ok, sugar is crack.  Just as examples.  And, for me, sometimes there is so much going on that I don’t have time to do the research and check the latest facts.  Life is busy.  Sometimes I have to concentrate on teaching.  Sometimes I have so much other stuff going on (you know in the last year I’ve had a lot of “stuff).  Sometimes I feel my blog suffers.  But I also think that when I just sit down and write . . . tell you what is going on (ya know when I don’t have time to research and fact check) . . . you guys seem to like that.  How about a nice share today?  You know I love to share.

I am lucky enough to be a part of a teacher rotation for a Nia class on Sunday.  So this past Sunday I taught at they YMCA.  It was the largest class I have taught there.  It was really nice.  The students were really into it.  It is always such a moving experience to have twelve bodies enjoying the dance.  Monday I am subbing for someone the month of October.  That class was a joy.

My Tuesday/Thursday class is making me so proud and happy.  Most of the people who attend Tuesday also attend Thursday.  This group is really beginning to “get their Nia on”.  They are actually sounding.  It used to be that I could tell the area of the room where the “whoo” (or whatever) was coming from . . . but this week, I didn’t know.  There were so many “whoos” and things I didn’t know who was making the noise.  There were doing so well, that I said I was going to listen.  So I was silent and they “ooed”!  It was magical!  I was so happy.  I was silent a bit more just to hear them.  And they kept going!  It used to be they would stop after the first check.  I would say, “I’m gonna do a sound check.”  And the whole room would make noise, then the next time . . . . crickets!  But not this week . . . they kept right on making noise!

One thing that happened, I already shared on Facebook, but I am going to share it here too, is the collective expression of dismay at our music being interrupted by lobby noise!  There are a lot of lovely songs in our Nia music.  We had just begun to get into the movement of the dance.  And the majesty of the song was settling in over the room when there was this LOUD noise from the lobby.  And the whole class went, “Awww!”  Even though the noise would not have ruined the song or the dance, it just BURST into the sacredness of it.  Two people went to shut the dance studio doors and I turned up the music and we danced on, but it was nice to see that other people appreciate the music and sacredness of it as well.  We like to experience without BIG LOUD noise.

My Wednesday class was full of new students.  And by full I mean, my “regulars” we not in attendance so it was just new students.  Fun stuff!

Also, thanks to one of my Nia students I had the opportunity to share information about Nia to a club in the area.  While it was understood prior to the meeting that nothing may become of it — as in, Nia may not be taught at the club — it was nice to be able to introduce people to Nia that had never heard of it before.  I love to talk Nia so to be able to explain to people who might host it was awesome.

My yoga class turned into a private session of sorts.  I was able to give one of my students some information that will assist her with something that she would like to improve upon specifically.  It is one thing for me to do asanas that can help, but we were able to target some movement habits that she will be able to pay attention to.  We both left feeling accomplished!

Then at the last minute when an instructor who became ill asked me to teach Nia for her students tomorrow, I said yes.  So instead of teaching one Nia class, I am doing two . . which I have done before but at different facilities.  Not two . . . back to back at the same place where I have already taught twice this week.  So what that means is . . . I need to get my post up and get going on deciding on something to teach.  So like I said in the beginning, sometimes I have to concentrate on teaching Nia!

So thank you for listening.  It was a nice week.  How was your week?  Do share?

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Sounds – Singing – Its All The Same

Posted by terrepruitt on January 14, 2014

You might have read my post about Sounding in Nia.  That is what we call it when we make noise in a Nia class — sounding.  You might have read my post about Reasons for Sounding in a Nia Class.  Even if you did not read that post, I bet you are aware of some of the reasons to make noise in an exercise class.  One of the biggest ones is to ensure breathing.  If you are making noise you are breathing.  Knowing the students are breathing is a HUGE relief to an instructor.  Some of the other reasons sounding is good are it can help stabilize your core, it can act as an emotional, spiritual, or physical release, and it can be really fun.  Sounding can be noises/words such as HA, HI, HEE, HOO, WAH, WAHOO, etc.  Sounding can also be singing. With “Nia Music” sometimes singing is just sounds.

I always invite the Nia participants to sing.  Often times I tell them it is really easy because there are no words.  I have often wondered how the singer sings.  I have often pondered how it is done.  Then Nia put out this video*.  It is an interview with Carl Tietze whose song Am I The One, is on the Sanjana Album.  Sanjana is the first Nia routine I learned.  In the interview Carl talks about how he invited a vocalist, Jen Folkner, to listen to the song.  He said he put the headphones on her and most of what we hear on the song is from her first time hearing the music.

She is sounding.  Granted, she is doing is beautifully.  I don’t want to put the pressure on and say this is what we do or need to do in a Nia class.  No, not at all.  I am just saying that it is fine to MAKE NOISE.  I did laugh when I heard this interview because I kind of imagined that songs that have no real words but are just a singer making noise was done like this.  I imagined the musicians just saying, “Go!” and the singer just letting her/his voice come out.

I was recently very amazed and in awe of a woman who had never been to a Nia class before – in fact, before class she asked me what it was.  So she didn’t even know what type of exercise/workout it was.  And yet, while she was moving to moves she had never done, she was singing.  The song was one of those songs without words, but she was just making noise in a “singing voice”.  It was great!  I was very impressed.

Making sounds or singing in a group workout class is not something that comes easy to everyone.  Sounding while learning moves doesn’t come easy to people who normally make noise, so it was especially fun to have her in class.  Plus she had that much more fun and received the benefits of sounding.

I hope this interview helps give you a glimpse into making sounds.  I hope you are able to experience the benefits of making noise while do your cardio dance.  You know it is fun.

Do you sing while you dance in your fitness dance class?  Don’t you love the way singing and dancing makes you feel?

*Click here to go to Nia’s website to sign up for the monthly newsletter!

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Practicing Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Posted by terrepruitt on November 5, 2013

Nia is a cardio dance workout.  Come to a class, dance, sweat, get a workout.  Nia is also a practice, like yoga is a practice.  Just like yoga you can go to a class, participate, and get a good workout in and go home.  Or you can take some of the ideas and principles with you into your daily life.  If you chose, you can decide to apply some of the body mind “stuff” to your daily life.  All up to you.  Now the reason I explain all that is because – keeping in mind that Nia is a practice (for those that want to take it that far) – there are a lot of things to, well, practice.  And Nia HQ is great about creating and supplying continue education for its members.  Also, it is great about writing articles to help people learn more about the practice of Nia.  One such article that was recently posted is Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone.

It talks about how each individual has different comfort zones so that “moving beyond” would be something different to each individual.  It reminds us that moving beyond the place where we feel comfortable is “the best thing to keep the body and brain strong”. It shares a story and gives examples of comfort zones. I do hope you click the link above and pop over to NiaNow to read it.

Here I am going to share other ways that Nia helps us do “the best thing to keep the body and brain strong” by helping us out of our comfort zone.  One way is dancing to music we don’t like.  I know . . . I can hear a lot of people say, “But WHY?”  Well, that is part of moving out of our comfort zone.  There seems to be some beats that just call to everyone.  That one song that is popular on the radio that gets everyone’s foot tapping and head bobbing.  Those songs are easy to dance to.  The universal dance song.  But the songs that come on that you might find yourself reaching for that tuning knob are great songs to step out of the comfort zone to dance to.  They are the ones that your regular, normal, COMFORTABLE dance moves just might not fit with.  The song that might have you using different muscles than you are used to.  The song that might have you moving in an entirely different way . . . . away and out of your comfort zone.  That is one reason why that Nia routine might have one of THOSE songs in it.

Then there is the song you just love.  The second it begins to play in class you are so ready to just sink into it, then your teacher says to move in a way that is in COMPLETE contradiction to the tone of the song.  “WHAT?  You want me to do a strong block to this sweet, sweet melody?”  Moving in a way that seems opposite from what the music is “telling” you can be WAY out of some people’s comfort zones.  It is a great way to keep the body and brain strong.

Playing with emotions and acting “as if” can be beyond some comfort zones.  Allowing yourself to just let go and dance without caring what you look like or if your “form” is perfect can be a big step away from some people’s comfort zones.  In one of my posts recently, I wrote about “messing up” . . . . . that can be MILES away from some people’s comfort zones.  Sounding can really be a big stretch for some individuals.  Not everyone is used to making noises while they workout.

These are just a few examples of what we do in Nia classes to help us step out of our comfort zones.  As stated, the reason is to work the brain as well as the body.  Moving out of our comfort zone helps mix it up.  Keeps the body and brain moving in different ways.  So the next time you feel resistance, let go and know you are doing something good for your body and brain.

Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone?  

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Nia Stance Sounds

Posted by terrepruitt on January 5, 2013

There are a few posts on my blog about sounding in Nia.  I even have a separate category for it.  See over there to the left under categories, under Nia?  Sounding is what we call making noise in a Nia class.  Sounding is great for many reasons.  Sounding is a release.  It can help release tension, emotions, spirit . . . whatever needs “releasing”.  Sounding is fun.  Sounding can assist in the stabilization of the torso.  Sounding can help ground you . . . physically, emotionally, and your spirit.  Often times when I am doing Nia both when I am teaching and when I am a student, my spirit just makes a sound.  I don’t plan it, I don’t think about it, a noise just comes out.  I “woo” a lot.  But sometimes other sounds comes out.  Sometimes the sound I make makes me laugh because I really don’t think about the sound, something just comes out.  I could be thinking of something, for example, maybe the move we are doing reminds me of a swirling skirt, so then the sound could be a “whosh” as in the sound of a skirt, or it could be a giggle of a girl twirling in a skirt.  I don’t always think about the sound I just let it out.  Sometimes I do think of the sound.  Sounding can be purposeful.  The noise can have a purpose.  I have posted about healing sounds and sounds associated with the chakras.  This post is about the sounds that are associated with Nia stances, which are part of Nia’s 52 moves.

TheDance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit picture in this post is an approximation of how MY feet would be placed in the various stances.  Remember that your stances would probably be slightly different.  The width would be according to YOUR body and your body’s way.  The picture is just to give you an idea and maybe help remind you of the various stances.  At this time I have a post associated with four of the six stances.

In Nia’s closed stance the sound is the vowel sound “o”.  The sound is made to “create volume in your chest cavity”.

In Nia’s open stance the sound is (to say) “balance” or “ground”.  Saying the word “balance” can assist you in your balance.  The word “ground” can assist with allowing you to feel grounded and sense balance.

The sound for Nia’s “A” stance is “aaaaahh!”.  You say it on an exhale.  Letting out all your breath until you are ready to inhale.

Sumo stance or riding stance (feet as wide apart as if you were riding a horse) has an explosive sound.  Say “ha!”  To me this helps with stabilization.

The bow stance has a sound of “u”.  The bow stance is done with either foot in front, not just with the left foot in front as shown in the example.

The cat stance (standing on one foot, with the other foot pressed against the standing leg) has the sound “wooooooo” associated with it.  This is done on the exhale.  This stance is also done on the other foot and not just the left one as in the example.

So as you are practicing the Nia stances you can use the sounds associated with them for added benefit and fun.  It is just fun to make noise.  To me it adds to the experience.  In my classes I encourage people to make any noise they want.  I also like to play with the noises, sounds, and words associated with the move.

Do you attend a dance exercise class  or exercise that encourages you to make noise?

Information regarding the sounds made with the Nia stances can be found in The Nia Technique book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas (NKA, Carlos AyaRosas).  The book can be purchased from Amazon.

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If It Looks and Quacks Like a Duck It Could Be Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on June 7, 2012

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaAre there any dance exercise classes that you know of where you are encouraged to quack like a duck?  Well in all Nia classes we like to have fun, plus Nia understands the benefits of sounding, so there is a move where we quack while we are doing it.  Of course, quacking is not limited to being done only when we do this move, but this move is actually called Duck Walk.  It is very fitting to quack while doing this move.  I know to many quacking seems silly.  Sitting and reading about it has to make it sound really silly, but in class with your feet gently slapping the floor, it seems perfectly natural.  Making noise is natural and it tends to make working out much more fun.  It is also very amazing when moves have their own sound.  The Duck Walk, of the Nia 52 Moves is one that has its own sound, “Quack!  Quack!  Quack!”

All of the 52 Moves are listed with pictures in The Nia Technique Book.  I cannot emphasize enough how helpful this book is.  If you are interested in movement in the slightest or if you are interested in the body mind connection you would enjoy this book. The Duck Walk is described on page 114 as:

“Standing with your feet slightly apart and no wider than hip width, alternately lift and then lower the toes and balls of each foot, as if you are slapping the ground to splash water in a puddle.”

So your feet can be slightly apart or as far as hip width.  Remember “hip width” means hip JOINT width.  Thigh bones straight down from your hip joints.  Then the toes and ball of foot lift.  Then you splash.  Splish splash in puddles.  As with the Squish Walk I have a different way to do this with different imagery.  When I am doing it as stated in the book, I DO think of my toes splashing in the puddles.  But when I think of a duck and its walk, I tend to put my toes out.  I think of toes out as duck walk.  That’s when the move lends to quacking for me.

Just as the same as with the Squish Walk The Nia Technique Book does not give instructions to walk while “duck walking”, but we do it all the time in my Nia classes.  This duck walk move really allows for ankle movement and helps condition the muscles on the front of the lower legs so I like to use it.  High heeled shoes — especially the ones now-a-days — have feet stuck in the opposite direction with hardly any ankle flexion so the Duck Walk is great to get those muscles moving and stretched.

While progressing forward with the duck walk it is not the same as heel lead walk even though you lead with the heel.  With the duck walk we don’t roll through the entire foot, we gently splat the foot down. It is a heel lead then splat with the rest of the foot.  That is why the imagery of splashing your toes in the puddle works so well, I bet as a child most of us have done that.

Between the quacking and the splashing it is no wonder Nia is so fun.  Adults as play!  Splish splash quack!

Did you get up out of your chair to try it?  C’mon, try it!

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Reasons for Sounding in Nia Class

Posted by terrepruitt on April 26, 2012

I’ve post about the Healings Sounds. I’ve posted about how we used the Healing Sounds in our Nia class. I’ve stated that making noise is a great way for people to know that you are breathing. There are other reasons to sound, one being it helps stabilize your core. In Nia or in other dance exercise classes there are times when you are moving and playing with balance so having a stable core can assist in proper balance. With the effort to stay stable there is also strengthening. On the exhale the abdomen is tightened.

In Nia we do a lot of movement where core stabilization is key. Some of the moves we do that require a stable core are punches, blocks, and kicks. In order to punch and/or block with strength and authority the spine needs to be straight, the ribs squeezing, and the abs tight. All of this can be accomplished with one loud sound, any sound can do it. Kicking is the same thing, even if you are doing a side kick where your body might be leaning, the spine is still straight and the torso needs to be tight. A joyful “HA!” can take care of all that!

Another reason to sound is release. We are often taught to be quiet. It could be as deep and as damaging as we were taught our opinions don’t matter. It could be more of a social “norm” where we were taught to respectfully keep one’s opinion to oneself or respectfully not sing, shout, or cry out loud because it would be inappropriate even though that is what we really want to do.  All of these social confines can lead to blocked energies.  Having to behave can lead to us feeling bad, so sounding in a Nia Class is a huge release. We can experience a release.  Healing sounds aren’t the only ones to be made, anything will do.

Often times for me I am busy with listening to the music, thinking of the next move, getting ready to cue, dancing, and breathing I don’t THINK about sound it just comes out. Sometimes a move makes its own sound. Also depends on the move. I did a routine recently where the moves were very quiet for me. It was odd. It was as if the moves had no sound. I am wondering if that is because it was so new. I am looking forward to doing it again to see if sounds reveal themselves.

In addition to breath, stabilization, strength, and release sounding is fun. Children are expected to shout, laugh out loud, and be joyfully noisy, but adults not so much.  Kids can run and scream on a playground, adult aren’t often afforded such a luxury, but in Nia we can.  It really is fun. It is fun to make noise. It is fun to HA, HOO, FOO, SHOO, HI-YA, WAHOO, WHOOO, and SHHHHH to the top of your voice. It is fun to play with the volume and the tone of the noises. All of this playfulness adds to the joy.  We can whoop it up as we did when we were young.  The vibrations of sound heal the body. The fun heal the spirit and the soul.

I often wonder how people are able to keep quiet in a Nia class.  I believe they have not yet experienced the good it will do for them.  There is the breath, the added stabilization, the strengthening, the emotional release, and the fun that it brings all good for the body, mind, spirit, and soul.

While I am saying we do sounding in Nia class, don’t think it is restricted to that.  So while you are exercising don’t forget to breath.  Try making some noise.  If you are in a class that doesn’t allow for it find a Nia class and whoop it up there!

Do you make noise while you exercise?

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How We Used Healing Sounds In Our Nia Class

Posted by terrepruitt on April 24, 2012

A post ago I posted about Healing Sounds. In Nia classes participants are encouraged to make noise or what we call sound.  One reason to sound is to let the teacher of the class know you are breathing.  This holds true for many exercise classes.  Wanting students/participants to be breathing holds true for all teachers.  There are a lot of reasons to sound, it does not have to be for healing or feeling better.  But as I stated in that post, I just happened to come across that information and those sounds so I thought it would be fun to bring the list to class and use them as a focus.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, The first time we used the Healing Sounds in a Nia Class, I had written each sound down on a separate piece of paper and I taped them to the mirror.  Before class I verbally reviewed each sound.  Our focus was the Healing Sounds with an intent of bringing some healing.  I invited the participants to make these noises during class.  The general invitation was to make them any way; they could breath in and make the noise on one long exhale, they could make them quick and staccato, they could make the tone high or low.  Whatever they wanted. Whatever they felt.  As with most focuses I do bring them into play specifically at times so when we were punching or kicking I might have encouraged them to make loud and forceful sounds.  I encouraged them at one point to try each sound.  I also had them play with saying a sound at least six times as was mentioned in the information I had found.  For my own practice I know that I used the sounds in a pattern and as with many things when one person does it others follow.  So we did a lot of lead and follow with sound as each person thought of different ways to use the sounds. It was very fun.

After the class I read to them what the sounds were related to and what they assisted with.  It was very fascinating.  Some commented that they had been drawn to a particular sound and they could see how that would be an area in which assistance would be appreciated.  Some had fun doing a good job of using all the sounds.  Some admitted that some sounds were more fun to make than others.

The most recent time that I used the healing sounds I again taped up the papers with each sound written on it.  But this time I read the information before class.  So the participants were aware of what each sound was prior to dancing.  The focus and intent were the same, but with the knowledge of what each sound assisted with some Nia students decided to focus on the specific sounds they felt would help them.  Again we had the freedom of how to make the sound and when to make it.  It is so exhilarating to hear my students weave sounding into the dance and to hear them make the sounds in their own way.

This second time around it was rewarding to hear my students say, “Yay!  I was just thinking about the healing sounds and hoping you would do them again soon.”  So they enjoyed it the first time and were looking forward to it.

I think I just decided today that with each routine I teach, with each round, I am going to do at least one class at each location (Willow Glen San Jose, Campbell, and Blossom Hill San Jose) where the focus is the healing sounds.  Whether the belief is that they actually heal or not we all have a lot of fun with it.  And they are sounds that my class actually make!

You don’t have to be in a Nia class to experiment with the sounds.  Have you used them?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Nia, Sounding | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Feel Good Sounds

Posted by terrepruitt on April 19, 2012

In a Nia class the participants are encouraged to make sounds.  There are many reasons to make sounds while you are working out.  One, is to ensure breathing.  As you are making a sound there is air going out, and in order to repeat it, there has to be air that was inhaled.  So making sounds during an exercise class is a great way to let the teacher know there is breathing going on.  There are also specific sounds related to specific things, but we don’t always have to be so particular.  Sometimes just any sound will do.  I did a post on Sounding in July of 2009.  That is when I was brand new to Nia and new to teaching.  I was still learning to be vocal.  I had no probably being vocal as I was teaching but as a student I didn’t always participate.  So I believe I understand some of the reasons a person might not want to sound and some of those reasons are the very reasons we SHOULD be making noise.  All of these points can easily lead to additional posts, and they just might (a sounding series?), but for this post I am going to share what I found a while ago about healing sounds.

There are sounds associated with the chakras so a while back I was thinking I could bring a list of them to my Nia classes and I could use them to encourage my Nia students to sound.  But I found a different list instead.  Before I share the information with you I want you to play along with me.  Pick one sound from the six below.  Just pick one that appeals to you right now as you are reading it.  Don’t think, just pick one.

SHOO, HAA, HOO, SSS, FOO, and SHEE.

Now keep playing along with me.  Inhale and then say the sound you picked out loud on the exhale.  Now do that six times.  How do you feel?

Well, according to Sales Creators, a business problem solving company, the above sounds are healing sounds related to specific problems or issues.  As I mentioned I had wanted to find some sounds that we could make in my Nia classes that would be fun and associated with chakras.  As I was looking I discovered this information.  At the time I didn’t know it was from a company that helped with business problems, I just discovered that now as I tried to locate the source of my information.  In glancing quickly at the website, it looks pretty interesting.  They actually speak to wellness of the entire person.  What?  REALLY?  On a sales and marketing consulting company’s website?  Yes.

Anyway here is what the information said in summary.

SHOO is a sound that helps alleviate problems associated with a sense of depression.  The information states that you will feel better after having repeated it six times.  The liver and the gall bladder is positively affected by the vibration of this sound.

HAA helps alleviate anger and helps calm the heart and regulate the small intestine.

HOO is a body temperature regulating sound.  It helps one to not become too cold and balances the spleen, pancreas, and stomach.

SSS is a balance sound.  SSS helps to regain equilibrium in the nervous system and the body.  The vibration of this sound cleanses the lungs and regulates the large intestine.

FOO is another body temperature regulating sound but this one helps with a high body temperature.  So to me is sounds as if you are typically hot making this sound will help cool you down.  This sound is said to stabilize the kidneys, bladder, and adrenal glands.

SHEE helps relieve stress, tension, and anxiety.  The instructions say that if you are under stress make this sound 36 times.  It helps with regulating the blood circulatory systems and the central nervous system.

I truly believe that vibrations affect us, so to me it makes sense that certain ones would affect us in certain ways.  I was hoping that without your knowledge, without you thinking about it you would gravitate to one of the sounds that would help you.

So, did the sound you randomly picked match up to what you were feeling?  And now that you know what is associated with each sound are they a few you might want to try out?  What do you think about vibrations and healing sounds?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc, Sounding | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »